Groupe Eurotunnels NYSE Euronext (NYX) London listing,
the first-ever on this exchange, introduces much-needed
competition in the UK capital markets, NYX Londons
European head of client coverage and business development has
Marc Lefèvre told IFLR that issuers looking
to list in London had historically lacked venue choice outside
of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Eurotunnel s listing
should demonstrate to international and domestic issuers that
there are alternative platforms in the London market, he
Eurotunnel, the operator of the Channel Tunnel between
England and France, announced its plans last month to switch
its secondary listing from LSE to NYX London on July 19.
Eurotunnels group chairman and CEO Jacques Gounon said
the transfer would enable the company to remain in London while
connecting to the worlds largest exchange. Eurotunnel
would benefit from the strength and visibility of NYSEs
global brand and have the possibility of accessing deeper
liquidity across Europe.
Lefèvre said the move represented a rebirth of
Eurotunnels London listing.
It will enable the company to consolidate liquidity
and give them access to the UK, Belgium, France, the
Netherlands and Portugal via its listings under the one
exchange umbrella, he said.
But most importantly, it introduced much-needed choice into
the market, he said.
The NYSE is very competitive in other parts of the
world and one of the elements of our plans in London is to
introduce more competition in the market, he said.
Eurotunnel was dissatisfied with its LSE
listing, Lefèvre said. By Eurotunnel moving
its listing from the LSE, it now has a chance to see real value
in its UK listing in a more harmonised way. Its important
to give issuers choice.
NYX London growth plans
The listing also connects the continent with the UK,
something the exchange had been trying to achieve for some
time. It is our aim to better develop listing and
visibility in the UK for European issuers, he said.
We want to interact with and further connect the
European and UK communities and bolster business with all
stakeholders by positioning ourselves at the centre of an
ecosystem we have developed, he said.
Building a cross-Atlantic listing platform, linking the US
and Europe, was a key element of this plan, he said.
We are seeing a lot of interest in coming to London
from Russian and Indian companies, he said. In
Russia, in particular, there is a real need for financing and a
real interest in listing in the UK. We hope to streamline this
process for them.
Bolstering business in Israel, Brazil, and the rest of
Europe was also a focus for the exchange, he said.
The transfer process
NYX London worked very closely with Eurotunnel on its
listing, Lefèvre said. It takes time to explain a
new value proposition such as this.
The process of transferring a listing is one with wide
steps, he said. A lot of visibility will be offered
to Groupe Eurotunnel.
Gounon said drafting a summary document to meet the UK
Listing Authoritys requirements for the transfer had
proved technical. But this is something we could carry
out and release on time, he said.
It is an important step in building the groups
visibility and profile in the UK market, as well as among UK
investors and clients, he added.
Eurotunnel, which is a bi-national company, wanted to
demonstrate to UK investors that the UK market is important to
them, he said. Roughly 65% of our investors are not
French and most of the US funds prefer to access the London
market rather than the French one. We want our shares to be
easily available on both stock exchanges, he said.
It will also be easier to have a unique trading
platform with Eurotunnel being traded on NYSE Euronext's single
order book, at a single price (in euros), he said.
He hoped the move would increase the liquidity of trading in
the companys shares in London.
The volume of shares traded in London stock market is
10,000 shares a day versus 2 million shares traded in the Paris
Stock Exchange, he said. Shareholders, whether
French or British, need more volume and liquidity to be able to
trade their shares as they want.
NYX London first
announced plans for a London market intended to
challenge the London Stock Exchange as a venue for
international company listings in late 2010 but until
now failed to win any listings.
Attracting the first listing to a new market is
something that always takes time, said